Following a visit to the Blue Cross rehoming centre in the run-up to this Christmas, local MP Mike Thornton is appealing to people to think carefully before taking on a pet, particularly around Christmas time.
The centre had already taken in 21 homeless puppies this Christmas, and staff expected this number to increase during the festive period.
Mike said: "It’s a real shame that pets will potentially be spending Christmas without a home of their own. Seeing all these lovely animals in need of homes is stark reminder that although pets can bring great joy, they are also a real responsibility and often end up being given up when their owners realise they can’t care for them."
"It’s really important to do your research think about whether you really have the time and money necessary to care for a pet. They should never be an impulse buy or a surprise gift. If you do decide to bring a pet into your life, think about contacting a charity like Blue Cross, who can give you lots of advice and help you find the perfect pet for you."
The team at the Blue Cross Southampton rehoming centre are currently caring for 75 unwanted and abandoned cats and dogs. They will be making sure they all get a special dinner on Christmas day, but the best present of all would be a new home to call their own.
Lara Alford, Blue Cross rehoming centre manager in Southampton said: "We’re going to super busy this year, making sure the puppies and all the other pets here at the centre have a happy Christmas, but we really need the public’s support too. Just £10 could pay for a health check for a homeless dog and £25 could buy scratch posts and toys to keep the cats in our care happy."
To find out more about the cats and dogs currently looking for homes, or how you can help homeless pets this Christmas, visit www.bluecross.org.uk or call Blue Cross in Southampton on 0300 777 1530.